Fifty-nine percent of District students missed fewer than 10
days. The average for the preceding three years was 53.2
The campaign began three years ago has now met or exceeded its
goal each year.
“Get 2 School. You Can Make It!” emphasizes the importance of
regular attendance to success in education and includes prizes
and other incentives for schools that show improvement.
The Cleveland Browns Foundation has served as the campaign’s
signature partner from the start, providing financial and other
support. Players have visited schools to stress the campaign
Chronic absenteeism is a nationwide
problem. In March, “PBS Newshour” reported
on the progress the campaign
has achieved in Cleveland.
The state defines chronic absenteeism as 10 percent of the
school year, or 18 days. But CMSD sets a more rigorous standard
because District data shows that students who miss more than 10
days score an average of 15 points lower on state math tests and
12 points lower on reading exams. High school students are 34
percent less likely to graduate and third-graders are 9 percent
less likely to meet Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee.
CMSD will kick off the 2018-19 attendance campaign on Saturday,
Aug. 4 during the annual Mayor’s Youth Summit and CMSD Back to
School Fair at Public Auditorium.
Bard’s first 4-year class graduates with head start on
Bard High School Early College Cleveland West Campus said
goodbye in early June to the first students to go through all
four years of the program, and the class statistics show the
school is accomplishing its mission.
Of the 97 seniors, 70 percent left with both their high school
diploma and an associate of arts degree from Bard College in
Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. All the new alumni have earned at
least a year of college credit that can be transferred to other
“It’s a strong starting point,” Principal Dumaine Williams said.
“In the future, we’re going to push to get even more to two-year
Bard West opened four years ago with ninth- and 11th-graders.
Last year, CMSD added Bard High School Early College East at the
John Adams Campus, making the District home to two of only five
such Bard schools in the United States. The Cleveland Plan, a
customized blueprint for education reform, calls for providing
students and families with a variety of models so they can find
the right fit.
Bard's goal is to transform urban education by improving college
readiness and ensuring that students not only go to college but
finish. The schools, which employ teachers accredited as college
faculty, seamlessly integrate coursework so students may
simultaneously earn both a high school diploma and a
tuition-free two-year degree. For example, a high school
literature course covers material that a college freshman would
need to know.
Bard College President Leon Botstein participated in the
commencement exercises Tuesday at Cleveland's Severance Hall.
Among the graduates he heralded was the first from a Bard high
school in Cleveland to enroll at Bard College in New York.
Wynnter Millsaps, Class of 2018 salutatorian, is headed there on
a full Bard Early College Opportunity Scholarship. She plans to
major in international relations and minor in Spanish. After
getting her four-year degree at age 20, she might join the Peace
Corps, study law, assist refugees or enter politics.
Bard High School gave her a preview of college from Day 1.
Adults not only asked her to read; they also inquired what she
had gleaned from the content. If she struggled, the teachers
were there to help. Wynnter visited the college for debate
tournaments and class trips more than a half-dozen times while
in high school and quickly realized that she wanted to enroll
“While it was foreign, it was also a place I knew because that’s
what Bard is like,” she said. “I could see myself physically
Bard high schools ask prospective students to apply, submit a
writing sample and participate in an interview. But a high
grade-point average is not a prerequisite; the school is looking
for students with a passion to learn.
Bard High School Early College West, like other new CMSD high
school models, is designed to be small and personalized. It
received 250 applications for the incoming ninth grade and
accepted half that number and started a waiting list.